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Dug’s Dive on the hunt for new waterfront location

Tucker Curtin is hunting for a new waterfront site for Dug’s Dive, his Small Boat Harbor restaurant.

The Buffalo restaurateur, who also operates the Steer and Lake Effect Diner in University Heights, could have gotten another year on his lease, he said. But after preliminary talks with his new landlord, Tennessee-based Safe Harbor Development, Curtin decided to look elsewhere. The last day Dug’s Dive will be open at its current site, 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd., is Oct. 15.

“We’re looking for a place where we can develop our vision of what the waterfront is all about,” Curtin said. “I want a place that makes people happy they live in Buffalo.”

Curtin opened Dug’s Dive on the Small Boat Harbor in 2007. That was before the recent spate of government-funded improvements arrived to reshape the water’s edge. Dug’s Dive helped expand the definition of what was possible on the Buffalo waterfront.

“We did nine years there,” Curtin said. “It’s incredible we made it more than nine months.” Through the vagaries of lakefront weather and ebb and flow of public attention, Dug’s Dive persisted, though not always year-round.

“A place was doing a couple hundred covers a day, and we turned it into a place doing 1,200 covers a day,” he said. “There was a marina that had 500 slipholders, begging and giving away slips, to a place that has 1,000 slips today.”

It was good timing, Curtin said. “Now it’s time to move on and grow,” he said. “If we have to skip a year before we find the right place, we’ll do that.”

Papa Jake’s opening Kenmore tavern: Papa Jake’s is going to have a son.

The owner of the popular Elmwood Avenue tavern and fish fry emporium is opening The Jake Tavern & Grill at 3020 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, formerly Malone’s. You can follow @TheJakeDelaware on Twitter for updates, even though the account has only tweeted once so far.

Information about the place is scarce. I’ve called four times so far, with no luck. But based on three secondhand accounts, apparently the time for opening is nigh. My guess is May.

Food trucks find Elma home: Two food truck operators are taking over an Elma restaurant as their home base.

Roaming Buffalo and Mikey Dee’s Catering are going to call 6831 Seneca St. home. The Elma location, currently Cobber’s by the Creek, will close May 22, said Christopher Taylor, who operates Roaming Buffalo with his wife, Valerie.

The new place will have its grand opening June 12, he said. Michael DiJoseph of Mikey Dee’s Catering will be a partner, adding his comfort food lineup to Roaming Buffalo’s prize-winning burgers. DiJoseph said he’d be offering “gourmet grilled cheese,” like his best-selling Buffalo wing grilled cheese sandwich on Al Cohen’s bread. A vast wing array, with at least 30 varieties, is coming, too.

The restaurant will be “more of a pub than a sit-down restaurant,” Christopher Taylor said. The new owners plan to add “pool tables, Internet dart boards, and Tap TV, and give people a place to get our burgers all year-round.”

Food Truck Tuesdays: The al fresco buffet that made it hip to do Larkin Square launches its third season Tuesday, bigger than ever.

For 26 Tuesdays, up to 32 mobile edibles purveyors will offer a uniquely diverse menu to the crowds at 745 Seneca St.

Poutine, barbecue, Thai, pierogi and buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches are just the beginning. A rotating cast of trucks will serve from 5 to 8 p.m.

New to Larkin this season: milkshakes and more from Taffy’s, Big Suzie’s Little Bakery, Chef’s Catering out of Rochester, Center Street Smokehouse from Batavia, Just Pizza, Street Café and (716). Season one sensation Brick-N-Motor, from Rochester, returns, as well.

Free admission, free parking,and live music from outfits like the Jony James Band. Check out the schedule at larkinsquare.com.

Olive Garden rebuilds: Construction has resumed at the Olive Garden near the McKinley Mall, about 11 months after the building was destroyed by fire.

The restaurant, at 3701 McKinley Parkway in Hamburg, burned after a June 14 grease fire. The blaze was ruled accidental.

Assuming the reconstruction goes as planned, it will be the fifth Olive Garden location in Western New York. It’s expected to open this fall, an Olive Garden spokeswoman said.

Send your restaurant news to agalarneau@buffnews.com

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